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24.12.2005 Football News

Essien To Play Only Two Games In Nations Cup?

By CitiFm
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The Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Honourable Osei Bonsu Amoah has responded to the decision by Chelsea to allow Michael Essien to commute between England and the Nations Cup, by saying that it will be appropriate if the midfielder plays the first two matches in the Nations Cup and then join his cl! ub at the Stamford Bridge.

English Champions Chelsea has asked Ghana to allow Michael Essien to move between Egypt and England using their private jet during next year's African Nations Cup finals.

The English club could be without Essien for up to six matches, if Ghana reaches the final on 10 February. The issue was discussed when Ghana coach Ratomir Dujkovic met Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. The other option was to allow the player to stay a little longer before the tournament starts.

The Deputy Minister told CITI FM that after he has played the first two games, the technical bench can then decide whether to allow him to play in the knockout stages or not.

'It is not as easy as it seems, I will suggest that the FA take that decision since it will be appropriate'. He said.

Fifa rules state that clubs must release players at least 14 days ahead of an international tournament, thus Ghana could insist the midfielder join the squad by 7 January.

Meanwhile, Head Coach of the Black Stars, Ratomir Dujkovic says the country can decide to ban the player under FIFA's regulations but it will not be the right thing to do, revealing that he is certain an agreement will be reached to satisfy both sides.

Still on the issue, the Ghana Football Association says they cannot make any comment on the decision by Chelsea since they are yet to receive the full report on the Coach's discussion with Mourinho. A source close to the FA hinted that though the Association has heard the statement by Chelsea, they want to receive a full report from Ratomir Dujkovic before they can come out with an informed statement.

Michael Essien is however at a loss as to what to do because though he really wants to take part in the Nations Cup, he is concerned that his absence could cost him a first team place at Chelsea.

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